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1. A small wooden barrel or covered vessel.
2. Any of several British units of capacity, usually equal to about 1/4 of a barrel or 9 gallons (34 liters).

[Middle English ferken, ferdekin, probably from Middle Dutch *verdelkijn, diminutive of veerdel, one-fourth : veerde, fourth; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots + deel, part; see dail- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Brewing) a small wooden barrel or similar container
2. (Units) Brit a unit of capacity equal to nine gallons
[C14 fir, from Middle Dutch vierde fourth + -kin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfɜr kɪn)

1. a small wooden vessel or tub for butter, lard, etc.
2. an early English unit of capacity usu. equal to a quarter of a barrel.
[1400–50; late Middle English ferdkyn, firdekyn=ferde (variant of ferthe fourth) + -kin -kin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 a measure of quantity; half a kilderkin, 1465; as a small cask for liquids, fish, butter, etc.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A unit of volume, used especially to measure beer or ale. 1 firkin = 9.8 US gal.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.firkin - a British unit of capacity equal to 9 imperial gallons
British capacity unit, Imperial capacity unit - a unit of measure for capacity officially adopted in the British Imperial System; British units are both dry and wet
congius, Imperial gallon, gallon - a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 4 quarts or 4.545 liters
kilderkin - an obsolete British unit of capacity equal to 18 Imperial gallons
2.firkin - a small wooden keg
keg - small cask or barrel
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"I wish you could come to me in London, but I couldn't make a butt of you as I do of poor Briggs no, no, you little sly creature; you are too clever--Isn't she, Firkin?"
Firkin (who was dressing the very small remnant of hair which remained on Miss Crawley's pate), flung up her head and said, "I think Miss is very clever," with the most killing sarcastic air.
Cato says, the master of a family (patremfamilias) must have in his rustic villa "cellam oleariam, vinariam, dolia multa, uti lubeat caritatem expectare, et rei, et virtuti, et gloriae erit," that is, "an oil and wine cellar, many casks, so that it may be pleasant to expect hard times; it will be for his advantage, and virtue, and glory." I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each.
"While I," quoth the other loudly, "do maintain the good sense and extraordinary wisdom of that most learned William against the crack-brained fantasies of the muddy Scotchman, who hath hid such little wit as he has under so vast a pile of words, that it is like one drop of Gascony in a firkin of ditch-water.
I also, on balance, approved its joining the Firkin Brewery stable in the 90s, heralding the craft beer revolution - the famous Dogbolter, Frogs' Legs, Honey Mild, and I'm pretty sure a Firkin Missed Wembley Again.
More recently from 1994 to 2001, it was The Fowl and Firkin, but following the sale of the Firkin chain, it became the Aardvark, and the on site brewery was removed.
Arvada, CO, August 12, 2016 --( Join Marc Williams, the Mayor of Arvada, on Thursday, August 18th at 5pm at Odyssey Beerwerks for music, food, and ze tapping of ze first 5 gallon firkin of their Oktoberfest Bier at 5pm on August 18th.
But they earmarked the new site in their native Speke last year and have now installed their own equipment which means they have doubled production to 50 firkins - one firkin is equivalent to 72 pints - per week.
The band will play next at Bristol's Fleece and Firkin on April 15.
Proud father Noel, who was present at the birth, headed to the nearby Fitz and Firkin pub to wet the baby's head and he revealed that he'd cried at the birth.
In the August of 1995, it became Cardiff's first Firkin pub and was known as the Flyhalf and Firkin.
Dendor 1 Firkin's win was the day's second interbreed success for the late Denis Jones' Dendor herd, Caersws, which also bred the Pembrokeshire Show champion.